Following a DUI-related accident, your first thought is probably ensuring that everyone is okay. Although this is important, there are other considerations you need to make to protect your rights. Here are some of those things.
Do Not Make Any Statements
When the police arrives on the scene, an officer will want to hear your version of what happened. Legally, you do not have to provide the police with a written or oral statement about what occurred. Choosing to not make a statement helps to protect you.
Any statements that you make to the police will be recorded on the official police report. If you end up facing DUI charges, your statement could come back to haunt you. The prosecutor can use it to make his or her case against you.
Instead of making a statement, inform the officer that you will give an official account at a later time. This gives you a chance to talk to a DUI defense lawyer such as R. Patrick McPherson Attorney At Law and go over your defense choices.
Carefully Consider the Sobriety Test
At some point, a police officer will ask you to take a field sobriety test. The test could consist of performing certain tasks or undergoing a breath or chemical test. Whether or not you take the test is up to you. However, it is important that you carefully consider the ramifications of taking and not taking it.
If you take the test, the prosecutor will have definitive proof that you were under the influence of a substance at the time of the accident. It is possible that your lawyer can challenge the validity of the results and have them tossed out.
If you refuse to take the test, you could face legal action. Most states have laws that require compliance with the test. If you fail to, you could receive a ticket from the officer and possibly lose your license. It could also have a bearing on your DUI case.
Write Your Own Narrative
As soon as you are able to, write down what happened. The only person who needs to see your narrative is your lawyer. Give him or her a copy of the narrative.
Writing down the events immediately is important because your memory of the events are still fresh.
When you meet with your lawyer, he or she will provide you with additional instructions for protecting your rights and defense. It is imperative that you follow the advice of your lawyer to help minimize the impact the DUI will have on your life.